Monday Movie Report: Casting news for Viola Davis, Dave Bautista, and more

Academy Award winner Viola Davis is has joined the cast of the “Suicide Squad” reboot and will return as the character Amanda Waller, according to Empire Magazine.

In the film series and the source material, Waller is often the head of government agencies which usually deals with superheroes and occasionally, villains. The latter is the Suicide Squad, a group of jailed criminals who’re sent out on dangerous missions. Davis portrayed the character in the original movie, too.

In other “Squad” news, Idris Elba is also joining the franchise, but not as initially reported. Early news was that Elba would replace Will Smith as the mercenary Deadshot in the “Squad” movie. However, Variety reports that Elba will portray a new character, rather than Deadshot.

The film is being written and directed by James Gunn.

Another comic book adaptation in the early phases is “The Eternals” from Marvel Studios. According to Variety, Kumail Nanjiani, who’s most familiar for his comedy roles, is in talks to join the production. Angelina Jolie is already set to star.

The movie will be directed by Chloe Zhao while the writing will be up to Matthew and Ryan Firpo.

In other news, Dave Bautista, who has starred in Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” will join Director Zack Snyder’s new zombie film “Armie of the Dead.” for Netflix. The film will follow a group of mercenaries fighting through a zombie outbreak in Las Vegas, Variety reports.

Finally, Laura Benanti is joining Michael Keaton and Stanley Tucci in the film “What is Life Worth.” The movie is based on Kenneth Feinberg, who was selected as Special Master for the United States government’s September 11th Victim Compensation Fund, Deadline reports. The film is written by Max Borenstein and directed by Sara Colangelo, with production starting this month.

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At the weekend box office, it was “Shazam!” from DC and Warner Bros. earning the top spot with a respectable $53 million. The film did have some competition from the “Pet Sematary” adaptation, though, which earned $25 million.

The full top five was:

1. Shazam! – $53,450,000
2. Pet Sematary – $25,000,000
3. Dumbo – $18,224,000
4. Us – $13,813,000
5. Captain Marvel – $12,682,000

For the upcoming weekend, new releases include the fantasy action film “Hellboy,” the animated feature “Missing Link” and the comedy “Little.”

On the small screen, meanwhile, new releases are:

  • On the Basis of Sex, my rating: 3.5 out of 5 (2018 Honorable Mention), Large Association of Movie Blogs rating: 3.42 out of 5, Rotten Tomatoes rating: 73%.
  • Holmes and Watson, Rotten Tomatoes rating: 11%.
  • A Dog’s Way Home, Rotten Tomatoes rating: 62%.
  • Welcome to Marwen, my rating: 1 out of 5, Large Association of Movie Blogs rating: 2 out of 5, Rotten Tomatoes rating: 33%.
  • Mirai, Rotten Tomatoes rating: 92%.

Author: Matthew Liedke

I'm a reporter for the Bemidji Pioneer in Minnesota, and I also have a passion for the art of film. This passion led me to start writing about film in 2008. From 2008-2016 I wrote pieces at my own website, After the Movie Reviews. Then, from 2016-May 2018, my write-ups were featured on AreaVoices, a blog network run by Forum Communications Company. Today, I write film reviews and other pieces here on Word Press. More about me: I'm a 2009 graduate of Rainy River College and a 2012 graduate of Minnesota State University in Moorhead. At MSU, I studied journalism and film. Outside of movies, I enjoy sports, video games, anime and craft beers.

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